GOHS grant to continue statewide bike safety programs

On October 20thMelinda Brewer of Walker County was struck and killed by a motorist while riding her bicycle. Her tragic death represented the 21st bicyclist fatality in Georgia in 2015. Georgia’s bicyclist fatalities in 2015 are 40% higher than in 2014. Recognizing this urgent safety issue, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is once again supporting statewide bicycle safety initiatives. GOHS is awarding over $70,000 to Georgia Bikes to implement bicycle safety programs and awareness campaigns in 2015. This grant represents a sixth year of funding to Georgia Bikes.

Programs enabled by the GOHS grant include:

  • Support for statewide bicycle safety outreach and educational activities managed by Georgia Bikes
  • Law enforcement training on bicyclist rights and responsibilities as operators of vehicles
  • Printing and distribution of Bicyclist Pocket Guides, which cover state laws relevant to bicycling as well as tips for safe cycling behaviors
  • Coordination of the 6th annual Georgia Bike Summit
  • Training and support for local bike safety advocacy organizations throughout Georgia

Brent Buice, Executive Director for Georgia Bikes, says, “Many Georgians ride a bicycle, for transportation and for recreation, and many more would like to ride, but they are concerned about inattentive drivers, a lack of safe facilities, and they are unsure of their legal rights and safe cycling practices. By funding education and outreach activities through this grant, GOHS is showing a strong commitment to reduce preventable bicyclist injuries and fatalities in Georgia.”

Funding for the grant comes primarily from the “Share the Road” specialty car tag, which has been available since 2006.

For more about GOHS and its bike safety initiatives, visit http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/bicycle-and-pedestrian-safety/

Safe route to school leads to happy kids in Carrollton

The impressive Carrollton Greenbelt, a paved multi-use path circling the city of Carrollton, GA, is a big hit with parents, kids, and school officials. With a comfortable place to ride, even pre-K students can bike to school!

More communities in the state could enjoy this kind of facility if just a small portion of state transportation funds were set aside for paved trails and protected bike lanes. Let your legislators – both state and federal – know that your community wants to reap the benefits that everyday walking and bicycling can provide. Let’s invest in a sensible, family-friendly transportation system!

For proof of the benefits, just watch the smiling faces and testimonials from the Carrollton families who enjoy this safe, traffic-separated facility.

2015 National Bike Challenge stats

The 2015 National Bike Challenge wrapped up yesterday, and the stats are in!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Challenge. We hope to see you all return next year with a few friends!

Below is a summary of the the top teams, communities and individual riders from the entire Challenge period (May 1 – September 30):

Top Female Riders from GA

 1) Betty Jean Jordan of Monticello with 7,991 points! 2) Dena Pruitt of Winder with 5,676 points 3) Diane Kinyon of Kingsland with 5,616 points 

Top Male Riders from GA

 1) Jason Wagner of Suwanee with 14,869 points! 2) James Deitsch of Albany with 12,536 points 3) Michael Chiasson of Woodbine with 9,968 points 

Top Communities in GA

 1) Atlanta with 396 riders who accumulated over 123,400 points! 2) Savannah with 136 riders who accumulated over 94,300 points 3) Decatur with 93 riders who accumulated over 63,500 points 

Top Teams in GA

 1) Camden County Cycling Club with 107,905 points! 2) Bicycling Club of Milledgeville with 105,062 points 3) Pecan City Pedalers of Albany with 80,820 points Among the southern states, Georgia came in at 10th place with 116.72 points per 1,000 residents. Nationally, Georgia ranked 43rd.